Yesterday I attended and presented at Mobile Tech 4 Social Change London – it was fab!  Great crowd, great venue, good food and coffee and smoothies ….

Thanks to Dan Appelquist  from Vodafone and Katrin Verclas from Mobile Active for setting up this session – a barcamp style workshop of folk interested in mobile for social change.  The event was completely open and public and attracted people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Katrin and Dan

Katrin and Dan

These “camps” are now being run around the world and a wiki has been set up to capture the great thinking they generate – Mobile Tech 4 Social Change wiki.

In true “barcamp” style anyone was allowed to pitch an idea for a session and get it on the “grid”.  I pitched “mobile co-creation for social change” as a morning session and got some very good and detailed feedback on the Betavine Social Exchange concept.  The detailed feedback can be found on the wiki here.   Thanks to Luke for taking notes.


Pitching for a slot at Mobile Tech for Social Change London

I have recently added a new community page to Betavine to discuss these ideas – the Social Change Community.   Please take a look and give me your feedback.

One exciting idea that was suggested by Katrin was to create an informal “advisory group” to help steer the development of the Betavine Social Exchange.  We will be working on this idea in the near future.


One of the drivers behind the Betavine Social Exchange is to encourage the mobile ecosystem in emerging markets – help local entrepreneurs to think about the mobile space and its opportunities.  This is a very challenging target and will need a number of key enablers in place i.e. understanding the utility of mobile, understanding the technical issues and knowledge of the business models available.

In creating the Betavine Social Exchange website we are currently thinking about 3 key groups of stakeholders or “audiences” – owners, contributors and activators.


This is the group that “own” the problem or challenge that could be addressed by a mobile solution.   The problem owners can come from many difference and diverse organisations e.g. NGOs, government departments, universities.  The problem owners are those organisations and individuals who understand the situations on the ground and are able to describe it clearly to others.

The engagement of the problem owners with the Betavine Social Exchange is key to its success.  The Betavine Social Exchange will seek to make it very easy to describe a problem in a way that is accessible to the problem owner but also helpful to the contributors and activators.


This group are the mobile developers or other mobile enthusiasts who have the knowledge or interest in “contributing” towards mobile solutions for the defined problems.   Contributions can be helpful pointers, software (open source code), time to lead a co-creation project online, user interface designs or business advice.

Contributions can come from anyone in the world … the global mobile development community or mobile enthusiasts.  The beneficiaries are the local entrepreneurs who are able to deploy a mobile solution that meets a pre-defined and real problem.


This group is made up of the local businesses or entrepreneurs in the emerging markets that are willing to step forward and “activate” a mobile solution in the local market.  One key advantage for the activators is that the customer, the problem owner, has already been indentified and a mobile solution is available to review.

Local activators can pre-register their interest and engage with the co-creation phase of the project.

Funding for local entrepreneurs can come from many different sources but one possibility is to use kiva.


I have been aware of kiva for a while but it was not until recently that I actually registered and lent some money to a fishmonger in Ghana.  The whole concept behind Kiva is awesome!  I love it.  The website is very simple to use and the process is clearly explained in every step.  I am not surprised that it has been such a great success.  It does the job it set out to do very well.

I am taking note of its success and hoping to learn a lot from it.  I am sure there should be a clear link from the Betavine Social Exchange to Kiva … not sure exactly how this will work but I am going to eplore the possibilities.